The Challenge:

Maintaining three live lanes of traffic, during the daytime, on each carriageway, to minimise the impact on the road user. Planning around the traffic management embargoes for key events, holidays and traffic management requirements of neighbouring network schemes. Working within the narrow lanes with restrictive access and egress points.

Existing hard shoulder removed to create construction area. Adverse weather affecting programme progress and damaging the carriageway surface requiring emergency closures for repairs. Maintaining good relationships with both motorway service areas within the working area. Keeping the 120,000 road users and key stakeholders, both off and on the network, updated and informed to mitigate the impact the project has on them. The liquidation of Kier's original JV partner Carillion Plc in January 2018.

The Solution:

Temporary widening of the lanes one and two to create additional safe space for travelling public. 24-hour free vehicle recovery service. UV lining the existing surface water pipes, negating the need for total pipe replacement, extending their life for the next 30 years plus bringing in significant time and cost savings. Concrete encapsulation for the over bridge structures to lessen maintenance requirements and to provide a robust solution to concrete corrosion. 

Extensive stakeholder and community engagement to inform and update the public as the project progresses to mitigate the project's impact. Stakeholder management with our key customers at Knutsford and Sandbach motorway services areas who are directly affected by our activities. Customer information stations set up along the diversion routes in local community libraries. Kier Highways stepping in within two weeks of the liquidation of Carillion to employ all former Carillion workers ensuring a smooth transition and minimal project delays.

The Impact:

Cheshire has a new smart motorway to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic on the key route between the Midlands and North West.

We have built social value into varied community engagement schemes such as the Holmes Chapel High School Memorial Garden, disabled parking Bays at Brereton Church and over 100 CSR projects where we have left behind a legacy for the wider community.

To date we have installed:

  • 18 new emergency areas
  • 40,000m of safety fencing 800,000m3 of carriageway resurfacing
  • 44 MS4 variable message signs
  • 1 Super span gantry
  • 20 super cantilever signage gantries
  • 50,000m slip formed surface water channels/slot drainage
  • 60,000m communication ducts
  • 22 motorway structures (overbridges and under bridges)
  • 60,000m drainage

The scheme will be completed in phases starting with northern sections between junctions 18 and 19, with all construction complete and traffic management removed by spring 2019 in line with the project completion in March 2019.

" With the M6 Junctions 16-19 Smart Motorways scheme approaching the end of the civil works and beginning to transition into the installation / commissioning of the technology required for Smart Motorways, Kier continue to demonstrate the importance of collaboration and communication. I appreciate all the hard work and effort that Kier, their sub-contractors and other delivery partners are putting into making this scheme a success, and achieving a challenging programme end date. "
Andrew Brown Assistant Project Manager Highways England

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